Southern Water issued the message this week (May 28) to make people aware of their water use during the hot weather and help prevent water waste, which could lead to possible shortages.
The company said that 10 weeks into lockdown water usage has increased at a rate of ‘10 and 20 per cent more than usual’, which could be due to additional hand washing, showers, washing, cleaning and cooking.
And although there is ‘enough water sat in reservoirs right now’ due to the UK’s winter rain, Southern Water says, the water has to go through a ‘process to make it safe before it arrives at your tap’.
A Southern Water spokesperson said, “People are all stuck at home unable to go to the beach or away on holiday as many would normally at this time of year – so we completely understand that those with gardens want to make the most of them, stay cool and water plants.
“However, in hot weather, demand really soars and then it becomes difficult to keep up. Imagine being in a shower when someone turns on a tap downstairs – the water slows to a trickle.
“And the hot weather coupled with the extra people at home has meant we are seeing some really high peaks throughout the day; in fact some days during lockdown we have seen an extra 60 million litres demand.”
The spokesperson said sprinklers, hoses and paddling polls require ‘extreme large quantities’ of water and that people should be ‘mindful’ as it could cause demand to outweigh supply.
The spokesperson said, “This is why water companies are asking everyone across the country to use water wisely during lockdown – the demand on the hot days is too high.
“The water treatment works, which are more than capable of producing more than enough water for all essential use, are very suddenly stretched.”
The spokesperson said larger paddling pools have become more common in households and highlighted where the pool’s water could be used for instead.
They said a 3,000 litre paddling pool could provide 2,000 hand washes, 7,000 cups of tea or 300 toilet flushes.
And a 500 to 1,000 litre pool could provide 330 to 660 hand washes, 1,250 to 2,500 cups of tea or 50 to 100 toilet flushes.
The spokesperson said, “It’s worth noting that as we move further into summer; these sums of water can also go on to cause a water shortage too.”
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